January 7, 2022

The Catholic Bishops of New Jersey join to express our strongest opposition to S49/A6260. This harmful legislation would: codify into state law an individual’s right to an abortion, including late-term abortions; potentially violate the religious freedom of healthcare workers and hospitals; and require private businesses to expand group health coverage to include abortion services.

We hold all human life sacred, including the unborn, and we strenuously oppose any effort that seeks to make abortion services more accessible – – expressly this effort that is being rushed through the legislative process at the conclusion of this session.

We realize the financial, emotional, and physical toll an unexpected pregnancy can have on a mother. We are sympathetic toward all mothers who feel helpless and alone, which is why the Catholic Church has a long tradition of offering alternatives to abortion. Through Catholic agencies, charities, parishes, and other organizations, mothers seeking abortion alternatives can access life-affirming health and prenatal care, emotional support, assistance in bearing and raising her child, and basic needs such as housing, food, and clothing.

Abortion is a direct attack on life itself. As such, the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey urge Catholics and people of good will to reject this bill seeking to expand abortion services and to contact your state legislators to express your staunch opposition to its passage.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark

Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop, Diocese of Trenton

Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan
Bishop, Diocese of Camden

Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney
Bishop of Paterson

Most Reverend James F. Checchio
Bishop, Diocese of Metuchen

Most Reverend Kurt Burnette
Bishop, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic

Most Reverend Yousif B. Habash
Bishop, Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese

Editor's Note: Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholics along the East Coast of the United States are under the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Passaic, NJ.


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Seek, my child, the nobility of the soul, for it is truth; that of the body is false. Do not seek honor from men, for this injures one; but rather, seek heavenly glory . . . . You are to be sympathetic with all the brethren and help them as much as possible; and, you are to minister to them that are unable or weak. Do not desire to live by another's labors . . . . Never ridicule anyone, and especially when they are in misfortune. When you hear that a certain brother is disorderly, supplicate God to correct his life. Visit and help the sick, and serve the brethren as their servant; so you might be a friend of Christ Who, for your sake, became a servant and minister. Always heed, my child, not to fall into temptations. However, if it happens that you should fall, immediately rise up and amend yourself with repentance, and again hasten to prayer. In this manner, live your life, my child, and God shall always come to you and help you in soul and body.

St. Theodora of Alexandria, "The Lives of the Spiritual Mothers: An Orthodox Materikon of Women Monastics and Ascetics